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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Wild Bill

Wild Bill

The True Story of the American Frontier's First Gunfighter

Tom Clavin

St. Martin's Press

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The definitive true story of Wild Bill, the first lawman of the Wild West, by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dodge City.

In July 1865, "Wild Bill" Hickok shot and killed Davis Tutt in Springfield, MO—the first quick-draw duel on the frontier. Thus began the reputation that made him a marked man to every gunslinger in the Wild West.

James Butler Hickock was known across the frontier as a soldier, Union spy, scout, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, and actor. He crossed paths with General Custer and Buffalo Bill Cody, as well as Ben Thompson and other young toughs gunning for the sheriff with the quickest draw west of the Mississippi.

Wild Bill also fell in love—multiple times—before marrying the true love of his life, Agnes Lake, the impresario of a traveling circus. He would be buried however, next to fabled frontierswoman Calamity Jane.

Even before his death, Wild Bill became a legend, with fiction sometimes supplanting fact in the stories that surfaced. Once, in a bar in Nebraska, he was confronted by four men, three of whom he killed in the ensuing gunfight. A famous Harper’s Magazine article credited Hickok with slaying 10 men that day; by the 1870s, his career-long kill count was up to 100.

The legend of Wild Bill has only grown since his death in 1876, when cowardly Jack McCall famously put a bullet through the back of his head during a card game. Bestselling author Tom Clavin has sifted through years of western lore to bring Hickock fully to life in this r… More…

The definitive true story of Wild Bill, the first lawman of the Wild West, by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dodge City.

In July 1865, "Wild Bill" Hickok shot and killed Davis Tutt in Springfield, MO—the first quick-draw duel on the frontier. Thus began the reputation that made him a marked man to every gunslinger in the Wild West.

James Butler Hickock was known across the frontier as a soldier, Union spy, scout, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, and actor. He crossed paths with General Custer and Buffalo Bill Cody, as well as Ben Thompson and other young toughs gunning for the sheriff with the quickest draw west of the Mississippi.

Wild Bill also fell in love—multiple times—before marrying the true love of his life, Agnes Lake, the impresario of a traveling circus. He would be buried however, next to fabled frontierswoman Calamity Jane.

Even before his death, Wild Bill became a legend, with fiction sometimes supplanting fact in the stories that surfaced. Once, in a bar in Nebraska, he was confronted by four men, three of whom he killed in the ensuing gunfight. A famous Harper’s Magazine article credited Hickok with slaying 10 men that day; by the 1870s, his career-long kill count was up to 100.

The legend of Wild Bill has only grown since his death in 1876, when cowardly Jack McCall famously put a bullet through the back of his head during a card game. Bestselling author Tom Clavin has sifted through years of western lore to bring Hickock fully to life in this rip-roaring, spellbinding true story.

Less…

Chapter One

A NEW ENGLAND CLAN


Wild Bill Hickok, who would forever be a firm fixture in the annals of the American West as a plainsman, gunfighter, and lawman, was born into a family that identified themselves as New Englanders.

Some...

Praise for Wild Bill

"Clavin, a wily veteran of the writing trade, tacks up the truth like wanted posters in every chapter, while simultaneously savoring a few of the more fanciful falsehoods along the way, a neat trick in which he displays some ambidexterity of his own." —New York Times Book Review

"A vigorous yarn....Clavin writes fluently and often entertainingly of a man shrouded in legend while being all too human." —Kirkus Reviews

"Well written, full of vivid characters, and detailed. Fans of the Old West and the HBO show Deadwood will appreciate the wild ride." —Booklist

"Rollicking...an entertaining tale of the man and the legend." —Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

Tom Clavin

TOM CLAVIN is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and has worked as a newspaper and web site editor, magazine writer, TV and radio commentator, and a reporter for The New York Times. He has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, and National Newspaper Association. His books include The Heart of Everything That Is, Halsey’s Typhoon, and Reckless. He lives in Sag Harbor, NY.

image of Tom Clavino
George Mitrovich

Tom Clavin

Meet the Author

February 6 - March 30, 2019

Meet New York Times-bestselling author Tom Clavin (Dodge City) as he discusses his biography of Bill Hickok, Wild Bill: The True Story of the American Frontier’s First Gunfighter.

READ THE FULL EXCERPT →

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